The Bayerische Staatsoper would like to thank its main sponsors, BMW Group and Siemens AG.
Kirill Petrenko first studied piano in his hometown of Omsk, Russia. After moving to Austria, he studied conducting in Feldkirch and Vienna. Following an engagement at the Vienna Volksoper from 1999 to 2002, he became chief musical director at the Meininger Theater. He first won international acclaim for conducting Wagner’s Ring cycle. Mr. Petrenko was subsequently appointed music director at the Komische Oper Berlin, where he gave numerous defining productions from 2002 to 2007. He has also performed at the Vienna State Opera, Semperoper Dresden, Bayerische Staatsoper, Opéra National de Paris, The Metropolitan Opera, and Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Mr. Petrenko has led such renowned orchestras as the Berliner Philharmoniker, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, Staatskapelle Berlin, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also conducted concerts at the Bregenz and Salzburg festivals. In the summers of 2013 to 2015, Mr. Petrenko conducted Wagner’s Ring cycle at the Bayreuth Festival. He has been music director of the Bayerische Staatsoper since the 2013–2014 season, with which he has premiered productions of Jenůfa, Die Frau ohne Schatten, La clemenza di Tito, Die Soldaten, Lucia di Lammermoor, Lulu, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, Tannhäuser, and Il trittico, as well as the world premiere of Miroslav Srnka’s South Pole. Opening the Munich Opera Festival 2018, Mr. Petrenko also develops a new production of Parsifal with Jonas Kaufmann in the title role.
Raised in Canada, Adrianne Pieczonka began her career at the Volksoper and the State Opera in Vienna. With roles such as Elisabeth of Valois (Don Carlo), Sieglinde (Die Walküre), Madame Lidoine (Dialogues des Carmélites), Elsa (Lohengrin), Lisa (The Queen of Spades), Leonore (Fidelio), and the titular roles of Tosca and Ariadne auf Naxos, she has given guest performances in the opera houses of Milan, New York, Paris, London, Vienna, and Toronto, as well as at the Glyndebourne, Salzburg, and Bayreuth festivals. She has been a member of the Vienna Chamber Choir since 2007 and an Officer of the Order of Canada since 2008. At the Bayerische Staatsoper, she has sung such roles as The Empress (Die Frau ohne Schatten), Senta (Der fliegende Holländer), and Chrysothemis (Elektra).
Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Angela Brower studied voice at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and Arizona State University. She was welcomed into the Glimmerglass Festival’s Young American Artists Program in 2008. She also joined the Opera Studio of the Bayerische Staatsoper in 2008, where she was an ensemble member from 2010 to 2016. She has given guest appearances in the opera houses of San Francisco, Tokyo, Baden-Baden, Klagenfurt, and London, as well as at the Salzburg and Glyndebourne festivals. Her repertoire encompasses roles such as Elisabetta (Maria Stuarda), Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro), Charlotte (Werther), Nicklausse / Muse (Les contes d’Hoffmann), La Speranza (L’Orfeo), Wellgunde (Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung), and Adalgisa (Norma).
Hanna-Elisabeth Müller studied classical voice in Mannheim. She has made guest appearances at the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall, Semperoper Dresden, and Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, as well as at the Salzburg Easter Festival. She was made a member of the Opera Studio of the Bayerische Staatsoper in 2010, where she was an ensemble member from 2012 to 2016. Her repertoire encompasses roles such as Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Servilia (La clemenza di Tito), Woglinde (Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung), and Zdenka (Arabella). She was a soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at the opening concert of the Elbphilharmonie Laeiszhalle in Hamburg.
Peter Rose studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Since his opera debut in 1986 as the Commander (Don Giovanni), he has given guest performances in the opera houses of New York, San Francisco, London, Vienna, Paris, Milan, Berlin, and Hamburg, as well as at festivals in Salzburg and Aix-en-Provence. His repertoire encompasses such roles as Gurnemanz (Parsifal), Fasolt (Das Rheingold), Osmin (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), King Marke (Tristan und Isolde), Philip II (Don Carlo), La Roche (Capriccio), Wassermann (Rusalka), and Méphistophélès (Faust), as well as the titular roles in Boris Godunov and Falstaff.
Markus Eiche studied classical voice in Karlsruhe and Stuttgart. From 2001 to 2007, he was an ensemble member at the Nationaltheater Mannheim, where he performed such roles as Wolfram von Eschenbach (Tannhäuser) and Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), and the title roles in Wozzeck and Don Giovanni. He has residencies with both the Vienna State Opera and the Bayerische Staatsoper, and sings important roles from his repertoire at both houses. He has given performances in the opera houses of Milan, Amsterdam, Berlin, Dresden, and Barcelona, as well as at the Salzburg and Glyndebourne festivals.
Lawrence Brownlee studied at Anderson University and the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He has given guest performances at the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Staatsoper Berlin, Seattle Opera, Zürich Opera House, Teatro Real, Vienna State Opera, and Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as well as at festivals in Baden-Baden and Aix-en-Provence. His repertoire encompasses such roles as Count Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Lindoro (L’italiana in Algeri), Tonio (La fille du régiment), Arturo (I puritani), Osiride (Mosè in Egitto), Don Narciso (Il turco in Italia), Don Ramiro (La Cenerentola), Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore), and Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni).
The history of the Choir of the Bayerische Staatsoper dates to 1523. Duke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria assembled 19 professional singers into a choir according to the voice ranges: bass, tenor, and alto. In 1773, the choir had 44 singers. By 1825, they were up to 64, and during King Ludwig II’s reign, the choir was almost as big as it is today. During this period, the legendary first performances of Richard Wagner’s musical dramas—Tristan und Isolde, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and Parsifal—were celebrated in Bayreuth. Additional premieres of works by Richard Strauss, Franz Schreker, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Paul Hindemith, and Josef Rheinberger right through to Unsuk Chin and Jörg Widmann have since followed.
The Bayerische Staatsoper Choir’s sound has been forged and shaped by outstanding conductors such as Bruno Walter, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Peter Schneider, Carlos Kleiber, Zubin Mehta, Kent Nagano, and current Music Director Kirill Petrenko.
Its repertoire incorporates more than 100 works from across the entire international spectrum of operatic literature, from Monteverdi to contemporary commissioned works. The choir also constantly expands its classical concert repertoire. Today, the Bayerische Staatsoper Choir boasts 99 members from 23 different nations.
Sören Eckhoff was born in Hamburg. He was choirmaster and conductor in Augsburg, Ulm, Heidelberg, and Würzburg. He has also worked with Rundfunkchor Berlin, RIAS Kammerchor, and radio choirs of the WDR and NDR. He has helped with productions of Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges at the Komische Oper Berlin and Wagner’s Lohengrin at the Nationaltheater Mannheim. He also lectures at the Hochschule für Musik Würzburg. From 2005 until 2010, he was choir director at the Oper Leipzig, and since 2010, he has held the same post at the Bayerische Staatsoper
The Bayerisches Staatsorchester is one of the world’s oldest orchestras and remains steeped in tradition. Emerging from Munich’s court orchestra, its origins can be traced back to 1523. The ensemble’s first famous director was Orlando di Lasso, beginning in 1563. While church music initially took center stage, more and more secular concerts and opera performances were added throughout the 17th century. Regular opera performances began in the mid-18th century and today remain the orchestra’s primary function.
In 1811, the musicians of the court opera orchestra founded the Musikalischen Akademie (Musical Academy), which gave rise to the first public concert series in Munich. The Musical Academy—with its focus on symphonic music, chamber music, and music education—has since been a formative part of musical life in Munich and Bavaria.
Richard Wagner stands out among the many great composers with whom the orchestra has been associated. Hans von Bülow conducted the debut performance of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde in 1865. Wagner’s operas Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Das Rheingold, and Die Walküre were also premiered in Munich.
Many of the most esteemed conductors of their day—including Richard Strauss, Bruno Walter, Hans Knappertsbusch, Sir Georg Solti, Joseph Keilberth, Wolfgang Sawallisch, and Zubin Mehta—have led the orchestra. It also enjoyed a close relationship with Carlos Kleiber. Kirill Petrenko followed Kent Nagano as music director, when he assumed the position at the beginning of the 2013–2014 season. In September 2016, the orchestra toured to Europe with Mr. Petrenko, giving concerts in Milan, Lucerne, Berlin, and Vienna, among other cities. In the fall of 2017, the Bayerische Staatsoper’s entire company gave a series of performances in Japan, which followed an Asia tour with concerts in Taipei, Seoul, and Tokyo. A performance in London’s Barbican Centre is planned for this season.